WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 –
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement on National Employ Older Workers Week, which takes place September 19 – 26.
“This week we celebrate the continued contributions of America’s older workers. It is also a time to get word to every employer about the importance and benefits of hiring these seasoned professionals. After all, experience — coupled with a solid work ethic and strong decision making skills — makes for excellent job candidates.
“As for all other workers, the Labor Department is committed to the success of these vital members of America’s workforce. To help in that nationwide effort, we have more than 3,000 One Stop Career Centers — a full list of which is available at www.servicelocator.org. The centers offer such services as resume writing assistance, career counseling and even direct job placement — all free of charge. In the current economic climate, leveraging these tools can help make the difference between getting a good, new job and facing long-term unemployment.
“The department also recently launched a new online tool that helps older workers match their existing skills to new job opportunities. The web portal is called “mySkills myFuture” and is accessed by going to www.myskillsmyfuture.org. Visitors can easily find out what jobs they are qualified for, search local job listings or locate training opportunities to help them upgrade their skills.
“We also administer the Senior Community Service Employment Program. By connecting older workers who have limited financial resources with paid community service jobs, SCSEP makes on-the-job skills training possible. The program is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year and, since its inception, it has helped more than one million older Americans enter the workforce. More information on SCSEP and a host of other programs designed to help America’s older workers is available at www.doleta.gov/seniors.
“History shows that DOL’s high quality resources and services help connect older workers with good jobs. That, in turn, helps families, businesses and entire communities thrive. But this only happens if employers get on board and actively seek and hire these hard-working and dynamic professionals. Those employers who do, comply with our laws, which say all job candidates must get equal consideration — regardless of age. They are also the businesses, which recognize that talent and commitment know no age and which leverage the tremendous resource that are our nation’s older workers to lead the way in both innovation and market excellence.
“It’s very simple. Workers age 55 and older are the fastest-growing segment of the American workforce. In fact, by 2014 they will make up almost 22 percent of the U.S. labor force. So, as our population ages, older Americans will play an increasingly important role in local, national and international economies. They will shape America’s products and services, and help ensure our continued leadership in the international marketplace. Let’s keep those facts in mind today and every day. Let’s take a moment to thank the nation’s older workers for their continued contributions to the country, and do everything possible so that they have the tools and opportunities they need and deserve. It’s the right thing to do for older workers, and the right thing to do for the nation as a whole.”